Harsh, industrial, brut... Concrete is an unforgiving material but its raw, rough texture can be oddly warm and inviting when paired with soft materials or transformed into a luxury material.
Although it's not the most environmentally friendly material, concrete is undergoing an eco-revamp at the moment with many companies looking to reduce the environmental impact of the material and reducing its carbon footprint.
It's always important to keep this impact in mind when considering concrete products and we think that these finds are chic enough to spend your concrete allowance on.
These weird forms from Remy & Veenhuizen juxtapose the hard, foundational material of concrete with the lightest material possible - air.
This confusion of the rigid and the malleable gives the pieces an air of impossibility because the inflatable forms upon which the designs are based wouldn't be able to bear the weight of a person without the use of the heavy concrete and steel frames. Only through the use of the material can these pieces be functional. Interesting, no?
Concrete can be a form of trust - its hardness usually conveys feelings of permanence and strength, but when cracked and broken a form of betrayal occurs and it can evoke unsettling images of instability and the crumbling of cities and institutions.
It's a jarring feeling when the trust we place in concrete's power to hold together the walls that support our homes and protect us in our most intimate space is broken. This Delta light from LJ Lamps reminds us of the fallibility of this ubiquitous material and even highlights its seemingly flimsy interior structure with a soft light that peers through the fissures.
Brutalist design is synonymous with this unforgiving material and it's widely thought to be a grim realisation of a particularly fascistic architectural philosophy, however, this Concrete Chair by Stephan Zwicky beautifully fuses brutalism with humour.
Clearly based on Le Corbusier's LC2, this fun yet horrifying version of the classic chair looks like it could be either a whimsical piece found in a gorgeous garden or a stylish torture device.
OK, so concrete is seldom associated with fine design details or even considered as a beautiful material, but these gorgeous concrete tiles from Daniel Ogassian shine a spotlight on the possibilities of this practical material.
Ogassian's fluid forms and interlocking geometric patterns transform concrete into a material that can be luxurious and contemporary with beautiful detailing that keeps the raw edge of a base material. We think these are pretty incredible and serve as a great monotone alternative to ciment tiles.
Effortless, organic and ultra-contemporary are adjectives we're going to have to start associating with concrete thanks to these modular Dune pieces from Rainer Mutsch.
These ultra hard-wearing pieces look perfectly smooth and comfortable with a oddly calming ambience that makes them versatile and usable in almost every setting from a corporate foyer to a transformable outdoor space. Super cool.